Shipping container patio

State & City Funding For Outdoor Dining Solutions

Temporary Outdoor Expansion Assistance Fund for Restaurants and Bars

RoxBox Containers in Denver Colorado introduces a new and innovative way to ensure restaurants and events can operate through the pandemic winter with shipping container outdoor patios called The PatioBox. City and State governments in Colorado are rallying around bars and restaurants in Colorado to provide funding for outdoor patio expenses due to COVID.

City of Denver Funding

As part of the CARES Act, the City and County of Denver is disbursing grants through its Temporary Outdoor Expansion Assistance Fund to support businesses that incurred costs for outside seating area expansion due to COVID-19 public health requirement restrictions.

The amounts awarded and the quantity of awards issued will be based on the number of applicants, their eligibility, program priority, and the dollar amount of costs incurred by businesses.

" We believe that this structure would qualify as an eligible expense as long as it is used to temporarily expand the seating area. That being said the applicant still has to apply and be awarded a grant based on the eligibility and priority criteria. Qualifying expenses do no guarantee that the applicant will be awarded a grant of any amount".

City of Denver

State Funding

"The State of Colorado, in partnership with the Colorado Restaurant Association (CRA), Colorado Restaurant Foundation (CRF), American Council of Engineering Companies of Colorado (ACEC), the American Institute of Architects Colorado (AIA) and the Associated General Contractors of Colorado (AGC) have teamed up with other design and construction professionals in an effort to encourage and support restaurants in the creation of outdoor dining spaces this winter.

We are raising funds to distribute grants to eligible restaurants towards designing and building their outdoor winter dining spaces. Funds can be used toward design, construction, applicable fees, and supplies (ex: permit fees, tents, heaters). Grants will be distributed through the Colorado Restaurant Foundation*, a 501c3 non-profit that serves as the philanthropic arm of the Colorado Restaurant Association".

Colorado Restaurant Association

The RoxBox PatioBox

PatioBox allows for a heated and rad space with circulation to allow for continued revenue through the winter even with COVID-19 restrictions. By adhering to CDPHE guidelines, we’ve created multiple different temporary outdoor patio models with heaters that will fit in innumerable spaces and allow for continued operation through winter – plus they look way cooler than a tent. These structures can ultimately be integrated into a more long-term development plan and have optional roof-top decks. 

The PatioBox comes in 4 different models with numerous upgrade options like roof-top decks:

  • X-Large  – 2×40’HC double-door containers modified & combined to create maximum space with multiple openings, lights + electrical, heaters, and 3 glass roll-up doors
  • Large – 2×40’HC containers combined w/ openings, lights + electrical, and heaters
  • Medium – 1×40’HC double-door container w/ lights + electrical and heaters
  • Small – 1×20’HC container w/ two openings, lights + electrical and heaters
RoxBox is committed to helping bars and restaurants through these tough times.

The Block Distilling Company custom shipping container patio seating area built by ROXBOX Containers.

The PatioBox was featured In Dining Out Magazine!

PatioBox Offers Sturdy Solution for Snow

By Amy Antonation -10/15/2020

It’s the question on everyone’s mind right now. Not, “Who are you voting for?” (we’re real tired, man, and that conversation is exhausting whether you’re talking to like-minded folks or not), but, “What am I supposed to do once it snows?” A close second is, “Is there even time left to do anything?”

RoxBox, a Denver manufacturing company that’s been turning shipping containers into offices, tiny homes, restaurant kitchens, and bars for a couple of years now, is hoping the answers are, “Call us!” and “Absolutely!” It’s throwing its hat into the (increasingly crowded) outdoor winter dining ring with PatioBox, a line of shipping containers modified to serve as semi-permanent enclosed patios this winter and for seasons to come.

ROXBOX CEO Anthony Halsch notes the concept was designed with Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment guidelines in mind. The line comprises four models:

  • Small: a single 20-foot, double-door shipping container (entrances are on both ends of the structure) that is 160 square feet
  • Medium: a single 40-foot container with 320 square feet and a single entrance on one end
  • Large: two 40-foot containers with a single entrance, a 10-foot cutout for light and ventilation, and 640 square feet
  • XL: two 40-foot, double-door containers, three cutouts (with tarps), and 640 square feet

All models come wired for electricity and with lights and radiant heaters (so your guests get a “homey industrial” vibe instead of a “shootout down at the docks” vibe). Upgrades include additional cutouts (windows or doors) and heaters, sound baffles, flooring, exterior lights, speakers, and roll-up or garage doors.

For restaurants and bars already strapped for cash, base purchase prices ranging from $8,500 to $35,000 may seem like the proverbial last straw, but Gonzalez points to the long-term development potential of the PatioBox. A rooftop deck can be added to take advantage of warmer weather, and with some structural reinforcement, containers can even be stacked. And because they can be loaded onto a tow or trailer truck, they’re technically (if not obviously) mobile and can be transported to offsite events like music or beer festivals—if and when they return. They’re also considered a depreciating asset for tax purposes.

Interested parties that aren’t yet ready to shell out the full purchase price can opt for six- or twelve-month rentals. Six-month rates will run you $1,050 to $4,400 per month; if you’re willing to commit to a full year lease, you’ll spend $750 to $3,400 per month. RoxBox is also considering a plan to offer the first month of rental free, and financing is available for buyers. You can find detailed pricing info on the company’s Facebook page.

Gonzalez acknowledges permitting differs from city to city, but says the municipalities RoxBox has worked with seem anxious to get the structures permitted before cold weather sets in. He emphasizes to local governments that PatioBox is mobile and not a permanent structure; he describes it as a “metal tent” and leans in hard on the fact it’s a solution that will help buoy local businesses through the winter.

Currently, RoxBox is working on installing its first PatioBox at Spirit Hound Distillers in Lyons. Head distiller Craig Engelhorn confirms the town has been extremely receptive. He notes it’s been only about a week from first hearing about the PatioBox to a meeting with Lyons’ fire marshal and building inspector. “This isn’t honestly what I want to spend our money on,” says Engelhorn, “[but] it will more than double the number of tables and we can continue to support our bar staff. The town and Renaldo have been working together….Lyons has been great to work with.”

RoxBox is also in the process of meeting with the Denver officials to get a pre-approval stamp. And with just a two- to three-week turnaround to build and install the PatioBox (dependent, of course, on whether you’ve made friends with your fire marshal recently), you still have time to get one set up before the snow flies.

Rendering of one of ROXBOX Containers healthcare shipping container units, used for ICU/exam rooms, vaccine distribution, laboratories, drive-thru covid testing, treatment rooms, and more.

Can Shipping Container Clinics Be The Solution To U.S Coronavirus Vaccine Distribution?

Rendering of one of ROXBOX Containers healthcare shipping container units, used for ICU/exam rooms, vaccine distribution, laboratories, drive-thru covid testing, treatment rooms, and more.

Is help on the way?

World health officials are increasingly optimistic that a usable vaccine is near to fight the novel coronavirus. Researchers linked to the Center for Global Development estimate with an 85% probability that a vaccine will be ready by 2021.  According to the World Health Organization 8 vaccine candidates in progress are near to achieving the final stage of testing, which will give the global economy a much-needed boost. While this news is some of the most positive we have seen in months regarding the coronavirus, the news does not come without major manufacturing challenges and issues of scale. Governments across the world are concentrated on the historic task of getting vaccines to their people effectively and quickly.


U.S Vaccine Distribution Scale

The U.S is currently planning the manufacture and delivery of more than 300 million safe and efficient vaccines. The two federal agencies tasked are the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Defense (DoD). Their distribution strategy is called Operation Warp Speed. The goal of Operation warp speed is to

“produce and deliver 300 million doses of safe and effective vaccines with the initial doses available by January 2021, as part of a broader strategy to accelerate the development, manufacturing, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics (collectively known as countermeasures).”

The supply, production, and distribution of the vaccine is an intra-governmental endeavor. According to recent news, distribution is one area where the project is falling behind. In a letter to governors, the Centers for Disease Controls director Dr. Robert Redfield explained distribution centers need to be up running by the first of November. With the tremendous amount of work that needs to be done, shipping container clinics are proving to be a viable solution and may help expedite the process of setting up the distribution centers.

Benefits of Shipping Container Vaccine Clinics

Storied History

There is a long global history with the use of shipping containers in; disasters, outbreaks, low patient density, severe climates, and conflict zones. Hospitals and doctors’ offices can focus on what they do best. Shipping container vaccine clinics reduce the traffic into the central facility and help maintain its space and employees from being overwhelmed.


To date, shipping containers are used as the primary mode of transport in global commerce because they are portable, secure, and structurally strong enough to be stacked high on top of each other. They can also be manufactured quicker than other building methods. The lean manufacturing factory-built approach provides an efficient assembly line process within a controlled environment, which can provide greater quality in a shorter time.

Shipping Container Supply

The supply of shipping containers is a valuable building asset, more than 19,000 shipping containers enter the U.S every day. The domestic stock of containers allows for container vaccine clinics to be manufactured locally with a limited need for long-distance shipping.

Reuse & Repurpose

Shipping container clinics and shipping container hospitals can be long-term solutions for future pandemics, natural disaster response, or community-wide requirements. When the vaccine distribution is complete the containers can be repurposed into; triage rooms, exam rooms, infusion rooms, treatment rooms, testing facilities, laboratories, patient rooms, quarantine rooms, isolation rooms, or surge space for non-critical care. If the containers are not repurposed they can be used for U.S medical stock for the next 40+ years. If another pandemic happens the containers can be brought out of stock and fitted with current medical technology.


The shipping container clinic modular design accommodates mobile site arrangements depending on population requirements. Shipping container vaccine clinics are designed to be hospital-grade; fitted with climate control, air quality, storage, electrical wiring, plumbing, doors, security, and furnishings.


Shipping container clinics can be designed with LEED green building concepts specifically for the healthcare field. Clean energy power can be generated through containerized deployable solar energy which can save money compared to diesel generators, while not releasing C02 emissions. HVAC can be run off of solar panels on the roof of the container hospital, which is one of the largest energy needs in buildings. RoxBox can provide solar-powered refrigeration and/or freezer containers to keep vaccines at the necessary temperature – allowing for remote vaccine distribution hubs.

The RoxBox Promise

RoxBox has teamed up with RK Mission Critical, TreanorHL, Martin/Martin Inc, and Cator Ruma & Associates to build Offsite-Manufactured Health Care Facilities out of shipping containers. This multi-organizational endeavor extends assistance in building the infrastructure required to combat the COVID-19 Pandemic. Our crisis management team has specialized knowledge in the container construction and modular construction industry and we are willing to allocate our many resources to assist in this crisis!


Rendering of the inside of one of ROXBOX Containers healthcare shipping container units, used for ICU/exam rooms, vaccine distribution, laboratories, drive-thru covid testing, treatment rooms, and more.
Rendering of one of ROXBOX Containers healthcare shipping container units, used for ICU/exam rooms, vaccine distribution, laboratories, drive-thru covid testing, treatment rooms, and more.

Rendering of one of ROXBOX Containers healthcare shipping container units, used for ICU/exam rooms, vaccine distribution, laboratories, drive-thru covid testing, treatment rooms, and more.

How Shipping Containers Can Help COVID-19 Patients Receive Faster Care

TreanorHL’s Health studio has teamed up with RK Mission Critical in Colorado to design modular health spaces in response to the pandemic COVID-19. TreanorHL Principal Steve Carr led the design of containerized isolation and exam room modules in less than a week that can be manufactured in about six weeks. These modules are designed to be fitted out of shipping containers.

What health systems need:

Currently, the spaces in most immediate need include:

  • Triage rooms
  • Exam rooms
  • Infusion rooms
  • Treatment rooms
  • Testing facilities / laboratories
  • Patient rooms
  • Quarantine rooms
  • Isolation rooms
  • Surge space for non-critical care

Short- to medium-term needs include ICU rooms and supplemental care facilities, and longer-term needs include ICU patient rooms, non-critical care facilities and permanent housing, in addition to existing needs to address supply chain shortages.

“Health systems are looking for very quick and temporary solutions for COVID-19 needs on the immediate horizon,” says Carr. Banner Health, for example, has hospital locations in Colorado, Arizona, and California. They have found that indoor solutions in spaces such as convention centers, schools, and hotels are beneficial because they are already weather-proof and can pull power and utilities from the existing facilities.

These modular health units are currently designed to run off of generators for speed of use and cost, but also have an alternative for solar power that could be easily implemented. They can also be manufactured quickly. A factory-built method allows an efficient assembly line process within a controlled environment, which has proven to provide higher quality in less time.

UCHealth and SCL Health in Colorado have also expressed interest in using this modular solution to increase available treatment space, as it is manufactured locally and would not require shipping long distances. Its availability not only benefits healthcare systems during peak times in patient numbers, but also provides a potential long-term solution for a future pandemic or community-wide needs.

The challenge of COVID-19—and any pandemic

Particularly important for COVID-19 patients are isolation and decentralization. Similar to an approach used in South Korea to combat hospital bed shortages, this modular solution can push facilities into urban or rural hotspots, allowing patients to be treated and discharged or isolated closer to their homes.

These units are also designed to help fill another need—provider access. In a large convention center, for example, the concentration of several of these modular units can allow limited healthcare providers to see more patients in one place. And when they do need to cover broader areas, technology integration can help.

“There just aren’t enough medical staff to spread around,” says Carr. “This is why we also included the potential for telehealth components.”

The modular design allows variable site placement depending on community needs. Units are designed with the ability to be grouped together in container “farms.” These farms can include pods of six or eight containers facing each other with a fabric structure between them to create a large outdoor covered area for staging, triage, and drive-through testing. Each pod can be configured with a laboratory, exam room, and isolation rooms depending on need.

 “These units are safe, accessible, and give patients the most direct path to understanding their condition and care,” says Carr. Special considerations for those within and around units include air quality, power and structural design, each of which is solved by considering a community’s specific needs.

Air quality to maintain negative pressure and exhaust of potentially contaminate air is another unique challenge to COVID-19. HEPA filters are typically used to capture contaminants, but the virus is so small that HEPA filtration is not effective. TreanorHL designed the units to have a vent stack that can be added after transport that will move the air up and away from the facility.

The standard 8-foot-wide unit size of the containers is tight for functional caregiving, so the team took length into consideration. Containers can be 20, 40, or 60 feet in length. 20-foot containers are best used when portability is a high priority, such as if they were to be shipped and trucked to a remote location in a developing country. The design team focused on a 40-foot container length to accommodate two patient rooms per container for a study within a targeted regional area where moving the containers on a long flat-bed truck is typical.